BY Adler S Walt
Dedicated to: Daria Andreavna Skorobogatova
SETTING: A gulag outside Boston. Snow is falling.
The year is now, in the distant unknown future. A grim winter is upon us all. Mankind and womankind are cold by the fruits of their generational indifference to affairs of working people and the great mass of the struggling poor. The setting, a miserable gulag hidden from normal sight on the Eastern coast of the United American States outside the City State of Greater Boston. The snow falls so hard you can’t see the roads anymore, can’t see but ten meters in front of you. They are caught in a thick and deadly, white deluge.
Adelina Blazhennaya is lovely and petite, but very striking is her sense of presence. When you are with her, you have her largely undivided attention. She is completely disarming, you let your guard slip. Which is dangerous as she is lovely, and you are surely mad. She finds and collects a type of man, ‘a mystic’ would be the polite way to call them. Men with some abilities that are useful to the generals and the oligarchs. As well as the champions of the serfs and wage slaves. The very way she looks at you lingers long after she is gone. It’s not seductive, it is a type of white magic. They say, she caused the comet shower in Chelyabinsk, but really that is only a speculation.
There is a vast spiritual war going on for the hearts and minds of toiling serfs, but the greater wars are still fought with guns and bullets. The world is far past the brink of irreversible tragedy. Invisible and visible warfare is to be carried out now against ordinary people and she has a great soul and is after a very particular soldier in this storm.
It has taken her half a day traveling from Camp Brighton Allston to bribe sentries, to take three trains and an omnibus, to flirt most professionally, ensnare the camp guards in false paper works and transfer documents and thus make her way to Shrakasa Waltham, sub-camp Brandeis; the largest Special Engineering Camp built by the Ivories in the Americas, but really one of many thousands of “special population camps” built for citizens of suspect loyalty after “the Great Revolt”, a very incomplete revolution that happened four years prior to the events of this act.
This place that holds the mentally imprisoned and prisoners of this war, mainly Chornay, some Fenian surfs and deranged, crossbred Ivory with their Christ killing ways and mental deceits. It’s also a place where dead men call aggregate, which is to say no one really governs these camps. You surround them and sometimes the authorities drop bombs on them but the camps are for all the people cleared out of the cities pacifying the insurgency going on still.
Waiting for her is another dead man Kawa Zivistan. And he has a feeling of nervousness in his chest. Steel butterflies. The kind of nervous anticipation that does not come from being more than intimidated by a very, very beautiful young woman. It comes also from secretly loving her. Or something about her.
Handsome for a dead man, she thinks. And nothing but fucking trouble, she curses sometimes inside but hardly ever outside. Kawa gets a lot of work done, no one can dispute that, but his ease to fall for women is amateur at best.
The State-run national television company ‘True News Corporation’ has been running his face and face of his so-called “terror wife” Emma Solomon for many weeks along with sound bites on the “dead terrorist ring-leaders of the Millennium Theater Hostage Crisis.”
A bloody three-day standoff which precipitated the functional end of a past union called the “United States of America” definitively breaking an estimated sixty-four small city-states and territories, Soviets, from the rest of the country including the black parts of neighboring Boston. Which the Commies call ‘Soviets’ and the Democratic Confederalists call ‘Cantons’. And the Federal government calls ‘Bandit Zones.’
She looks him and down and he is not exactly the same man she had met years before and had corresponded with since periodically. Along with the dreaming they did.
Kawa is handsome but he has dark shadows below his eyes, which though hidden under hazel contacts are gray on gray associated with never properly sleeping. What a funny name, a Kurdish name actually. But certainly this man could be several nationalities.
The eyes of the Old Souls meet.
He looks recently broken, as though he was lost or been lost by someone. As though smiling comes with great difficulty. As if the words and beliefs he hides behind are in actuality no true armor.
She wonders what the proper body language to assume is; to cordially shake his hand as a comrade; or to kiss his cheeks has an old friend, or, well they were not lovers or even old friends. And this was their second time meeting. In the world of the real, they had met just one single time, on one single evening. But in dreams, they had something else altogether.
She was never nervous, but she did regard this man as a certain threat. A threat not to her life or her mind, certainly not to her heart because her heart was numb to all words and deeds done by men. Having kissed his very souls, having spent night, after night in his mind; she worried that he might know her souls a little too. And this was a very difficult thing to accept as a candidate.
Firstly, that this murderer was from the blood of the chosen. He was more than half Israelite by any record as well as his own admission. Secondly, that he seemed unable to die. Thirdly, that in the real world he might actually desire her. Lastly, that it was her duty to accept him as a courier from here to newly liberated New York City, when his driving, according to all accounts was much worse than her own.
It would be one thing to be killed or tortured by the enemy. This was the constant risk of aiding the resistance, but to die because an American never learned to properly drive; unthinkable.
The way that she moves is not like human women, she has elegance and force in equal parts, and there then emerges a disarming smile and she quite nearly thinks to embrace him. To hold him with a tightness that in dreams is so familiar, but in the world they have but shaken hands only once. She has done it in dreams a hundred times. And so many other things with him. She has raced dragons with him and explored the surface of the moon.
He stands there leaning against his vehicle a white Charger 2009. Which, for all its lack of fuel efficiency will be worth nothing unless her paperwork permits his release for if he leaves the boundary of Waltham Third Perimeter Shrakasa, his aorta will explode. Oh quite literally. They used to make wrist watches in this work camp, sometime in the late 1960’s it was converted in an open air gulag for Caucasian Ivory, engaged in the study of time. Specifically the immortality and science behind the secrets of the old race called the Jews. Jews being a rather nasty once, but now unaccetible way to describe an ancient people called the Eevree, pronounced Ivory.
And what’s an exploding aorta to a man who has never been able to die?
A painful waste of a third-dimensional opportunity to transform the human condition, that’s what. He is wearing the gray multiform, permitted to his faction. The State calls him a Communist, but after his time in Kurdistan, Democratic Confederalist is what he did business under. Her white skirt with blue linear patterns blows in the subtle but refreshing winter winds.
Has he ever torn her clothes off in a dream? Has she ever let him reduce her to another conquest, another bedded woman making an excuse of her own lusts and her own physical wants? No not ever once! He has asked to be held and so she held him tight; he has held her delicate and painterly hands. They have danced under the stars in over a thousand and one sequences of brightly colored controlled dreaming.
And those dreams were rather beautiful.
She strides ever closer and she sees his half smile, the left side of his face mostly. There were so many reasons why a whole smile was impossible to the gun slinging, rebel hooligan Kawa Zivistan; but she immediately feels the entirety of his gaze, his full attention brought to bear just to take in her. And that half smile, she knows is the closest thing to showing happiness he can in this life bear to muster.
I will just extend my hand and then step back for the right-hand salute given by otriad fighters to their commanding officers, he thinks.
‘I will marshal all my best parts, knowing that she is a sacred woman and that my place in the chain of command is now different since culmination of the uprising, since the eradication of my otriad, since, since the debacle of my relations with the woman named Daria Andreavna, the tragedy of which I have not fully reconciled. And she is all but too familiar with the moving parts thereof. An embarrassment of my judgment.’
My goodness, he thinks; ‘I’m must suppress my longing for this woman before me.’
She walks with grace and power, she is in control of all her moving parts and in control of the fields of energy which are in perfect coordination top to bottom.
I will never let this man seduce me, she thinks. He is a rough and primitive creature, despite the fullness of his soul’s ambitions. Despite his mother being of the priestly class. What is more, she thinks, how did this warrior get reduced to slavery over a wild woman? In certain circles, he is still called the ‘American Shamel Basayev’. And most official circles think he is finally dead. But, the reason he was stashed away into the enemy gulag archipelago was not simply because this was a good place to hide him in plain sight. It was because he was being punished by the leadership. He had been on trial awaiting sentencing for 38 counts of guerrilla infraction including ‘lack of moral and spiritual discipline’; ‘conduct unbecoming a rebel Calvary officer’; four counts of “massacre”; three counts of ‘incorrect use of the word love’ and one very serious count of ‘complete self-compromise accompanying jeopardization of mission via liaison with a woman possibly aiding the enemy.’
The tribunal had not concluded, yet the full findings were complicated. And, of course, his “wife” and long-running partner is a woman with considerable influence with the rebel leadership and the Godhead. Something tingles in the base of his spine. Like Tiger Balm.
Something glows in the gold-brown depths of her eyes.
I will not allow my emotions to cloud my perception of the facts, he tells himself from the “Code of the Haitian Gentleman”.
I will not fall for this man and his tragic albeit heroic existence, she swears to the code of her own integrity.
Shake her hand, this is the second time meeting; salute and take her to supper while the transfer papers deactivate the Nanobots in my skull, he checklists.
She will take his hand, this is our second time meeting; accept his salute which acknowledges her leadership over him, let him take me dinner, while the paper works clears and bribes are wired, she thinks. Let him take me what was once four hours, but now is four days drive down the coastal highway from the United American States toward the mile-high wall, what’s left of New York City, and “the Breuklyn Soviet”. Where most likely the judges will order two shots to his head. His head cut off. And his soul bottled up forever in limbo as he pays for his roundabout decisions that cost everyone so damn much.
I’m thankful it’s her that I will be working with, he thinks. If they’re going to crucify me in New York, at least I get to spend the last four days with her.
Shake and salute, he affirms.
Shake and begin the road to his final sentencing, she affirms.
She’s less than four feet beautiful from him.
And best the best of preparations yield to passion.
They throw their arms around each other and embrace like two long lost lovers separated by battle and sea and fate and the cruelty, the duality of some very, very bad decisions made during the war. They are locked so tight cheek to cheek.
This is the second time they’ve ever met in the world of the real.
He can feel her heart beating, she can feel his breath. Their souls make love right there on the roof of his car, they don’t let go of what is in real time a hot minute. But time stopped for them both the minute they held each other again.
They step back. He then left hand salutes. And he passes her a note without saying overtly what she knows may be in his heart. Inscribed on his very ventricles.
She takes a glance at the note. It is quite obvious that the man likes to write his mind out. There are a thousand tiny characters in Cyrillic, she knows what they will tell her even if the grammar is a mess and the spelling is poorly.
They immediately embrace again. Tighter still. She looks into the note over his shoulder. It is very poor form to love a man who in four days will be sentenced to a final death.
“Don’t say it,” she whispers. Nearly pleads.
“I won’t. I’ll just show it,” he replies.
“You have less than four days,” she whispers.
“I know,” he says.
“Why did you do all of those things,” she says right into his ear and grips him even tighter.
“My passion overwhelmed me,” replies Kawa Zivistan.
She steps away from him, still so close though that that the angels inside of them may still be holding to their ecstasy.
“I find it nearly impossible to be charged with your fate,” she admits.
“The past is a useless story, Ms. Adelina.”
“I have read reports of your future too you know,” she retorts.
“The highway to New York is perilous. If my driving makes you nervous we can switch positions ok?”
She now looks him into his eyes.
“That sounds ok. Both sides of your face are smiling at me,” she says.
“That’s because I’m standing before the woman of my dreams.”
“Watch your words, little Prince,” she warns him.
“Don’t call me that please,” he replies.
“Kawa, the road to New York is perilous and I want you to promise me that you’re going to remain in control of your emotions. That you’re not going to break your word to me on any level. And, that no matter what they do to you in New York I’m going to be at your side and you need to be by mine, in the way that is appropriate.”
“I promise Ms. Adelina. Appropriately.”
“Ok, start the car. If you don’t make me completely comfortable with your driving I’m taking over and you’re going to have to ride shotgun all the way down. Which isn’t very manly in my cultural context.”
“It’s good to see you again,” says Kawa Zivistan.
She nods in quiet agreement.
She never knew him in another life. And that was a little exciting. He’d never dreamed with a woman before. That was thrilling, that kind of investment in him. Even if she’d mostly been in his head tinkering with the wiring.
“Give me your gun,” she declares.
He takes out a small revolver and hands it to her. She checks the chamber and notes that there are no bullets in the gun. She puts it into her satchel.
“Do you remember why we used to take pictures of the sky and text them to each other,” she asks him.
“No. I always assumed you were just artistic,” he replies.
“There’s nothing like a beautiful sky to substitute for love when love is gone, or hope when hope hopeless,” she tells him.
“You’re Russian, you’re not supposed to believe in hope,” he says.
She takes his hand.
“Your American, you’re not supposed to know what the word love means at all but I’m giving you a shadow of a doubt. You have one chance left to make a man of yourself. Otherwise, they’re gonna hang you for happened during the rising. You and Daria were a little excessive at the Millennium Theatre job.”
“I’m glad you’re here,” he says.
“It’s nice to be appreciated,” she replies, “now let’s get ready for the road.”
He almost says it. But she gives him a look.
“Be a real man and check your passion until the proper time,” says the look.
The sky above Shrakasa Waltham is pink, blue vanilla and the weather is beautiful because the Ivories have developed cloud-seeding weather apparatuses. There are no more open Ivories in the United American States except here in this camp of perhaps 70,000 serfs in the Massachusetts foothills outside rebel Boston which, like New York is no longer part of America.
If you’re just tuning in to our frequency; if you want to know what kind of story this is. Well, it’s definitely some kind of passion play; a Post-Soviet epic love story.
In the previous Act (ion), we learned of a man who didn’t know how to die and his tortured love affair with an agent of the enemy. In Act One we learned something of his passion.
How there came to be a full-blown human rights revolution in the United States of America had very little to do with those two protagonist-antagonists. And the uprising itself was not the work of men and women alone, but also gods and spirits, monsters and suffering old souls.
We began with loyalty because it is the basis for all good human acts. And now we jump seven years before the event of the first part of our serial; to account for the things which were unleashed by woman and men enraptured by their passions.
This interlude has taken place before Act One and after what you are about to embark on reading.
Adelina was ordered to accompany Kawa Zivistan to newly liberated New York City; to a besieged place called the Breuklyn Soviet. It was not purely to keep him calm before his execution. It was also to directly ascertain the very specific particulars of what he had compromised to the enemy.
“I don’t judge you for anything you have done, but I am quite curious as to why you did it,” declares as he puts the Dodge Charger in drive mode.
“We were all in a most uncomfortable situation,” Zivistan begins as they take to the road, “there were past lives to account for, there was hope and investment in the future, there were debts to pay.”
“You need to tell me everything that happened in the six months before the uprising,” Adelina flatly tells him.
“I cannot save you and I cannot fix you or tame you, but if you will tell me the truth and stick to your promises I will make sure that you get what you deserve one way or another.”
There is a dinner at a weigh station on the lip of the black tarmac highway. To get to New York they will have to take a more circuitous route. They will eat there and wait until the sun goes down. They will have to switch vehicles, they will have to evade bandits and other various gentlemen of the road. They will need to grease many hands at checkpoints staffed by rebel and federal and gangster armies. And eventually, they will have to fly over or find a tunnel under the mile-high wall.
“There’s going to be plenty of time,” she tells him, “You need to go slow and get deep with me on this.”
“Yes, you must. You are accountable only for this life, but it is unclear to me and other interested parties not only what you did in your past lives, but whose side you’re on now.”
He thinks about it.
“I’m only on your side now,” he whispers.
“Well, that is because your old friends now want you dead and your enemies think you’ve been buried already. You have only two allies left and Oleg the Bear is still temporally missing in the Urals.”
Or perhaps at the weigh station just up federal Highway 95.
“My wife sent you?” asks Kawa Zivistan.
“Yes. Emma Solomon sent me.”
“She’s not really my wife in a biblical sense.”
“I know she’s not really your wife in any real sense.”
“Does Emma think I betrayed the resistance?”
“No. Emma just thinks you mostly betrayed yourself.”
“And what do you think Ms. Adelina?”
“I think you have a brief window to prove your place in history. As a great working class hero or a despicable traitor who sold out his closest friends to make a deal with the devil over a two-bit whore that he got tricked into thinking was his old soul lost companion.”
“Those are strong words,” says Zivistan watching the road unfold.
“I’m a very strong woman.”
“That’s why I might…” but he shuts off. You can’t put a timeline on a dream or series of dreams.
“When I met you on my birthday I thought you were a charming scoundrel. But I have come to realize that I believe you innately to be good. I am unclear still on what happened leading up to and during the rising and if I am to be your true friend I must know that in totality before we arrive in New York.”
“When I met you I knew immediately that I must see you again and that you were not like anyone I’d known before.”
“Honey, pick your words well.”
“Ms. Adelina, I’m worried I let my passions get the best of me.”
“Well we shall see and we shall hear,” is all she replies.
The car accelerates, the road unfolds faster. She tells herself he is a most precarious man. There are both merit and dangers to that. He tells himself to review what he knows about this world and world to come.
The highway has many, many perils.
“There were so many nights that I could no longer trust myself and you were there to teach me.”
“Start with the relevant beginning,” she says.
“I am sure that one cannot love another when one hates themselves.”
“Do you hate yourself Kawa Zivistan?”
“In another life, because of beliefs I held and reckless actions I took in the name of our freedom the enemy took from me. A woman and a child. I have never slept well, nor lived happily since.”
“You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed.”
Again with the Little Prince, he thinks sardonically.
“If my inherited memories are true then I have caused some great amounts of carnage for cause and country.”
“I do not know if they are all true,” replies Adelina.
“I am quite happy you’re here. There is no more preferable a witness I could ask to vouch for me,” he says.
They’re gonna end you in New York, she thinks and he hears.
“I vouch for nothing honey, I know you only as a magical dream. But, the road is long enough for you to reconcile that. Don’t let me down ok.”
“I did many things in the name of our cause. I do many things still as acts of passion.”
She takes his hand right hand which he has extended to her, she squeezes it.
“Both hands on the wheel,” she then says.
It is sad to meet a good man four days before he will die. For no matter what he chooses to tell her she knows what he has ultimately done! And nothing can absolve him, nothing he says or does can save his souls. Oleg the Bear said be very careful with him. She has his gun, but she is not aware yet that she also completely has his heart.
If the mind is a limitless tablet, and his animal soul belonged now to devilish promises made, if his godly soul and hers are still quite playfully holding hands in spirit worlds and dreamscapes; what is left is a mechanical heart. A pounding, pulsing drum fueling his warpath and guiding his way in the darkness.
The road unfolds empty as they speed to the diner at the junction.
“You don’t have to tell me everything, but please tell me what matters,” she says.
“Only you own and you rattle my bones, you turn me over and over until I can’t control myself,” comes over the Fire Station on the radio. The dancehall version.
She gives him a small look.
He changes the station to Tchaikovsky set with house music.
There are many people that want this man dead or alive. There are swarms of angry vultures circling above the car, metaphorically.
“I’m not in the business of saving souls or fixing people,” she tells him.
“Well how now, what business are you in then,” he smiles.
“I traffic in language and also dreams,” she softly replies.
“And also evidently me,” he says.
For eight months she has been in his mind and there was little she had seen there that would not make normal people nervous. But, Adelina is not like normal people and very little makes her nervous except the possibility that when she stops being numb for lucid intervals she realizes that this rebel bandit has quite possibly fallen for her.
And were it not for circumstances!
Might she let herself fall too?
Impossibilities of fate.
The world of now was unfolding right before them and the world of dreams was inconsequential. She has been charged with a messy assignment and she has no backup, nothing to rely on but her will.
“Will you stay in control of your emotions for me honey?” she asks him looking now at the little note he gave her.
“I have made you promises.”
Seven of them she observes in his micro-Cyrillic scrawl.
“Then in good faith I take you as a man of your word.”
“After dinner, before the road I’ll try and explain myself to you darling.”
“Take your time, go slow. Nobody knows you’re alive in this part of the world and when we get to your city I’ll walk through the job.”
“There’s a job still for me then?” he exclaims.
“What you thought this was just going to be a dark Russian American love story?”
“Well I don’t know what the genre is.”
“What’s a rose to a fox,” she asks him eliciting for the third time the phrases she’s programmed him with to access his dreams.
“What’s a jackknife to a swan,” he replies in the code that they have used for eight months on the satellite phone before bed.
“Don’t hurt me,” he says.
“I don’t have it in me,” she replies, “just show me your soul and I’ll show you mine. Try not to kill anybody on the road to New York.”
He wonders if she’s talking about his driving.
“In your culture what is more important; loyalty or passion?” she asks.
“What are you getting at?”
She pulls out the silver steel hand of the hamsa around her hung neck and flashes it for him out the corner of his right eye. Except he had given it to her in a dream.
“Don’t tell me you love me again until you can love yourself as well. I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t believe in your potential for good. But if you break your promises to me you’ll prove your enemies right.”
He wants to pull over and taste her again like it was in the dreams.
“Don’t say it,” she warns, “keep driving. I’m hungry and as a Haitian gentleman you must of course never allow a woman to be hungry.”
She knows his code, she knows most of his story, but there is still a four-day window for the highly unusual things to occur.
He watches the road, both hands on the wheel. He doesn’t want to let her down.
“Honey don’t say it,” she says again firmly.
“Please one time aloud. So you hear it in person as you have it in writing.”
“No. Not yet. Not until you really mean it.”
“I’ve done such crazy things in the name of it, I’ve killed so many people, I’ve invaded three counties, I’ve lost my wife and child, and I’ve died. Over and over again,” he murmurs.
“I know. So don’t say it to me until you know the right words. And you’d better be willing to back them all up with actions.”
“I read your first manuscript, I’m very concerned about your dead wife and child, and also your relations with a certain woman named Daria Andreavna. It is suspected that your claims to loving have often been subsumed and subverted. It is suspected that you were used. And that your passion over took your word and your loyalty. With most tragic results.”
“Do you believe that then? That I’m a traitor who knows nothing of love?”
“I know we women lead the resistance because we can truly love and you men do most of the killing because you cannot truly feel.”
“You read my first book, you’ve been in my head for eight months. Don’t you know what you’re looking at yet?”
“I’m not clear yet that you can separate your facts from your emotions. And I didn’t read all of your first book, just enough to get a taste of things to come.”
Kawa wants to say it. He wants to make it into poems and novels and paintings and sketches and thousands of loyal deeds. He wants her to believe in him like he believes in her. He wants her to see that his past can be absolved by his present.
“Baby don’t say it.”
She uses sweet talk sparingly with men she hasn’t gone to bed with. But you go to bed with a man’s dreams, you spend months together in an imagined world you feel a certain intimacy that extends to the physical realm at times.
“We’re almost at the weigh station,” he says.
I will not judge him for anything he has done, she thinks but I will hold him to everything he says so the moment that he says that simple word aloud he will have wedded his cause to me, and that is a complicated and explosive thing indeed. And to repel his advances is a matter of time and orders, but were I to feel again, she thinks, well he is a bit my type.
From the moment that he saw her on her birthday he had known she was a very different creature. He wanted her as a partner by his side. But eight months ago he was blinded still by a distracting influence and reeling from the aftershocks of it. That was when she entered his dreams as the Great Revolt made the long-simmering spiritual war a quite bloody contact sport.
Story time again. This time though our parables will draw attention, not to violence done in the name of loyalty, but instead the acts done when we are overwhelmed with passion.
“Str’ast,” she says, passion in Russian.
“I’ll tell you how it came to be that I played my part in the uprising,” he says.
She doesn’t like politics, so she responds, “stick to the parts with passion and allow me some insight and judgment as to if you’re the man I’m looking for.”
“Darling don’t be numb,” he says feeling layers of loving that are impossible to verify the source of in the world of the real.
“Darling just be realistic.”
The sun is down. The stars are up. They park at the weigh station and get ready to fill their bellies with food in preparation for the long road to Breuklyn Soviet.
“One last sentimental thing,” he says locking up the car.
“Go on then,” says Adelina, “before I make you have a heart attack,” she smiles.
“If it comes out of my mouth in the next few days that I have done things that upset you I am sorry. Please understand that we all have complicated pasts, and some of us complicated past lives. I swear to you I did not betray the resistance. I swear I will make sense of all these actions; those in New York, those in Haiti, those in Israel and Africa. I swear to you that you will have my undivided loyalty.”
“Listen, if you must you can say it one time, as you have already written a song about it and started a war in its name.”
“Adelina, I…” but he does not say it for he knows how little in English the word means to her and what a mockery he has made of the concept too.
For a second she turns away. Impossible, she thinks. This is the second time he’s met me! What does he know about love at all?
What a ridiculous notion to love another so quickly!
Based on shared dreams?
“I know. I’ll try and not say it again,” he says a bit ashamed at her reaction.
“It’s not that,” she starts.
“Your words have to count that’s all. You need to not say things just to hear how they sound, you need to say things to declare things that will be.”
“Why do I know you so intimately and still know nothing,” he says.
“Because this is our second meeting,” she jokes, “the rest was just a dream.”
“I…” he stammers, but the word is unable to form.
“You have only just begun to know me. In my culture there is a ridiculous arrogance in saying words you don’t mean when you can’t back them up, said only because you’ve caught up in the heat of something,” she says.
“It’s a very traditional feeling and it is backed up by eight months of dreams.”
“I will wait and see if you feel that way this time next week, for there are many things done in the name of passion, but they are not the same things done in name of love.”
Why can’t I say the word he wonders? And the answer is she will not let him, so strong are her powers over him. For if that word was good fuel in act one for poems, and the basis of the Partizan Song; then we must now examine motives of our Post Soviet Protagonist-antagonists yet anew.
“There is incredible power in language,” she tells him, “but sometimes talk is cheap. You’ve loved early and loved often, and that makes me suspect you also love easily, but all these things are beside the point. We have a treacherous four-day journey to reach your city, and then you will be put on trial. It is my duty to inform you that whatever feelings you think you have developed for me in dreams, I am nothing to you now but friend and comrade.”
“I won’t use words I can’t back up with actions.”
“Well, I suspect that you may try.”
“I’ve ruined myself several times before over the idea of a perfect woman.”
“Well don’t do that again.”
“You’re not an idea.”
“You don’t know me yet. They say that I have what science has yet to prove in the blood.”
“Well, that I believe.”
“Your defenses are lowered, your dreams have been invaded by thoughts of me, and you write well and have pretty brown eyes like mine. But watch the things you say, I will make you put your money where your mouth is. I will make you ready for trial.”
“If things escape my mouth that proclaims some newly forming feelings…”
“We’ll be sure not to act on them,” she says.
And with that in mind, they went cautiously to eat supper before they took to the road under the cover of darkness.
And in real time not much longer.
The dinner at the crossroads is empty except for them two.
Though thoughts of her had pervaded his mind for the past eight months, now sitting across from her about to bite into his Ruben sandwich, the gun-slinging ambulance man, a wanted rebel hooligan new little of what to say.
“Why is it that you do not speak any Russian,” she asks him.
“I have no talent,” he replies.
“No talent for language?”
“No talent for remembering. It’s my most dishonorable trait.”
“No, being a murderer is your most dishonorable trait. Not speaking Russian means you’re just lazy. Your file says you’ve had several Russian partners. I call it lazy, though I do not judge you for it.”
“Indeed, well then what is that you judge me for?”
“I have nothing to linger judgment upon at this juncture.”
“I am indeed then lazy and also a bit ashamed. For I do love the thought of knowing that which you think in.”
“I am merely surprised that living and working alongside three Russian speakers you acquired nothing.”
“I acquired some fucking and fighting words. Please believe I bring more to the table than my talent with English.”
“You bring a great deal from what I understand from your wife.”
“I said before I know what you are to each to each other. It is clear to me that you are far more than a murderous American bandit who while trained to save lives spends most of his energies killing people. ”
“Can you make no small talk woman!”
“Eat then happily and be quieter,” she replies.
He returns to the Ruben feeling vaguely that for one who claims to never judge she has arrived at some rather serious prejudgments and will be deterred from them.
She wonders if Oleg the Bear will arrive on time or make them wait, or whether he will get there early. She wonders if he will come alone, or bring a woman. And she wonders if that woman will slow them all down.
Kawa is unnerved by silence. It reminds him of sleep, and also of death and nothing about a silent moment makes him feel at ease. It makes him feel also like an inadequate conversationalist. And he begins to second guess his feelings, having realized that when not allowed to speak of politics or feelings, he has little to work with.
“I have a soft spot for writers,” she finally says, “I understand you wrote a book once.”
“I did. A Noire, it sold less than a hundred copies.”
“Well maybe if you’d written it in Russian it would have had a better reception. Since the majority of your county doesn’t actually know how to read.”
“Maybe it was just a bloody mess of a book.”
“If I recall it was about a paramedic and a whore on the eve of the revolution was it not?”
“It had a bit more to it than that.”
“Well of course. To you. I read some.”
“So not your style?”
“No. Not really. A little too violent. A little too sentimental about the wrong things. Your poems are much better.”
“I’m flattered you took the time to read them.”
“You began sending me them four days after meeting me do you recall. Under some pretext of soliciting my technical opinions on airplanes.”
“I was sincerely curious about airplane terminology. I was also sincerely interested in attracting your attention more general.”
“And here we are.”
“So the book was not to your tastes and the poems were all splendid?”
“Some more than others, but I will say that you have an irregular handle on the English language, as though perhaps it was not your very first language. Your spelling is ad hock and your grammar most irregular. You think in High Ivory, do you not?”
He smiles at her, but doesn’t answer that.
Oleg Leonidovich Medved enters most gregariously, a burly man. A well dressed an friendly gangster. He is well dressed in various black and gray tones and carries a close cut beard which does nothing to disguise the Ivoryish aspects of his Slavic complexion or the Slavic attributes of Eurasian manly disposition. He is a man twice the size or other men who prefers to break others with conversation not brawn but can resort to that if needed. Kawa stands to greet him, they are old friends and they embrace before either man can or will acknowledge either woman, for he goes nowhere alone and with him is the young modal Yulia Romanova, a brown-haired slender beauty.
“The American Mayakovsky is much located and mostly alive! I am glad you are not really as dead as the telescreens now claim. The Millennium, blat, I am aghast at the recent carnage. I only hope with you and you wife officially “dead” the ceasefire holds. Tovarish poet paramedic, terrorist; glad to see you again!”
“The same Comrade Oleg, the same!” responds Kawa. And the two men embrace in a gruff but friendly, eastern European fashion.
“This is Yulia Romanova,” Oleg says and goes to embrace Adelina whom he has known for some number of years. In fact, it was he who introduced the two of them last 17 Germinal on her birthday.
They all are then seated at the dinner men facing men and women facing women.
“A perilous journey ahead,” toasts Oleg as soon as the drink has been put in his hand.
“Cheers,” says Adelina. What a silly British thing to say, to toast well; nothing.
“Is it true they aim to finally kill him in New York?” asks Oleg as if he despises all pretenses or suspense. Which he does.
“There is reason to believe that the revolution’s surviving leadership has arrived at some doubts as to Mr. Zivistan’s commitment to the values of the resistance. There are certain factions that want him put on trial and put to permanent death.”
“Well I say we skip New York, and all fly out directly to lovely Cataluña” interjects Yulia.
“Do you know this man so well you are vouching for our safety on public airlines,” asks Adelina to Yulia with vague scorn.
“No, I simply don’t like trials and don’t like New York now that it has gone communist,” replies Yulia Romanova, a self-proclaimed white Russian.
“I liked New York full capitalist, I like it, tainted communist. The issue to me is who knows really Heval Kawa is alive and why do they suspect him of treason to the revolution?” asks Oleg, “who has put such ideas in their heads is what I’m saying really.”
“Because of the circumstances,” states Adelina and as she even says the same she squirms a little inside, “the circumstances with that shall I be polite and say, courtesan from Penza.”
“Fuck those particular circumstances. Quite literally. I will of course vouch for Comrade Kawa Zivistan and testify that what he did for that particular woman was nothing of his own choosing. If anything it spoke well to his dedication to, shall I say, lost woman, or to saving everyone, or to his art. But I was there when they met and am privy to the entirety of the tryst, and I know this man did not betray a thing. Except is own mechanical heart perhaps.”
“Thank you for that confidence Heval friend,” Kawa says.
“Ain Davar,” says Oleg in High Ivory having lived four years in Israel once, once when it was there. The phrase means, never mind, or forget about it.
“Let underlying facts be placed upon this table then,” states Adelina, “this man is most uncommon. Three years ago he became enamored with a Russian call girl, under the employ of Oligarchs or no one, or simply a mad sex robot. His relations with her led to the underlying causalities that triggered this mighty revolt, that is mostly substantiated. And then, to save her he signed a contract with the devil himself. The High Oligarch Alexander Dmitrovitch Perchevney. A villain by all who recognize the massive crimes of his power grabbing historically and in relation to the 2nd Cold War. And then souls left bodies, souls were transplanted to new bodies and new times. This man the Resistance knows by his clandestine speeches and theories circulated on USB drives, he walked his way across time down a rabbit hole. And then became alive three years later. Then in the revolt’s third year and eleventh hour he and his wife, or should I say a woman he calls his wife, could lead commandos who seized thousands of hostages and perished yet again in a bloody sand off in Midtown Manhattan. And awake alive miraculously a third time in this gulag, Shrakasa Waltham half an hour west of Boston!”
“That sums up what I’ve heard as well,” says Oleg.
“His exile is over, the Shraskasa Camp is in flames,” Adelina explains with a hint of banality.
“Ah, yes thank you both, and you too Ms. Yulia for delivering me out of this cold wretched place,” says Zivistan.
“It is nothing, droog as we are all fans of your work, and friends of the people and the wider goals of the glorious revolution underway,” smiles Oleg the Bear, who is paid in cash dollars, billing by the minute for his very tricky work.
Oleg Medved has worn many hats in other lives, over the years of cold war thaw, repeat.
And thus begins our very rocky road running towards Brooklyn Soviet to the satellite camps of outer Boston; to the City of Port-Au-Prince, then to Santo Domingo and Havana; then Kingston and then Madeira, to the final invasion of Europe; then to Cataluña, then to Moscow burning our way across the great mountain fortress of pale Europe; to the remembering and also forgetting. And finally Burma. To all the places and possibilities beyond the narrow struggle to survive. But on that fateful cold winter day, we four never made it out of that diner weigh station, telling stories to make it through the cold.
For before you try to storm the mountain before you get to build upright human castles, battle white and black demons both and build your grand castell to victory; you must drill. For in the face of indomitable odds and opposition; zealous persistence and ineffable might are your truest weapons. You build your alliance, you ready your team. You prepare for the day it is your time to join the Great Revolt. And crash like a mighty wave over history. Obliterating your own life in some unanswered quest for a higher power or a greater good.